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The Village of Ridgewood Launches ” Our Village, Our Future ” a Village-wide visioning process on the creation of its next Master Plan

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Village of Ridgewood  officially launched Our Village, Our Future, a Village-wide visioning process that will inform the creation of its next Master Plan. The website www.visionridgewood.org will serve as the main online portal for Our Village, Our Future.

Continue reading The Village of Ridgewood Launches ” Our Village, Our Future ” a Village-wide visioning process on the creation of its next Master Plan

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2017-2018 Meeting Schedule of the Ridgewood Planning Board

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MEETINGS ARE HELD THE FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS OF THE MONTH,
UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE

DATE TYPE OF MEETING LOCATION TIME___

Village Hall Court Room
131 North Maple Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

July 18, 2016 Reorganization & Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
Regular Meeting
August 1, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
August 15, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
September 5, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
September 19, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
October 3, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
October 17, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
November 7, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
November 21, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
December 5, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
December 19, 2017 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
January 2, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
January 16, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
February 6, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
February 20, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
March 6, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
March 20, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
April 3, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
April 17, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
May 1, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
May 15, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
June 5, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
June 19, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
July 3, 2018 Reorganization & Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.
Regular Meeting
July 17, 2018 Regular Meeting Village Hall Court Room 7:30 p.m.

All meetings are open to the public, except for closed sessions, which may be held at any time. Regular
meetings may include work sessions, at which no formal action is taken, and/or items involving formal action
of the Board.

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Justice Department investigating Toms River’s zoning laws

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file photo by Boyd Loving

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Toms River’s zoning laws affecting religious land uses, including the Board of Adjustment’s requirement that a rabbi obtain a use variance to continue operating his Church Road home as a house of worship. Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press Read more

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Reader says public input early is key in the Ridgewood Planning Board process

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I do think public input early in the process is key. I agree current council has been scared of allowing opposition to formalize as it did with CRR and Valley. They seem to think that if you do it quick you minimize the ability of the public to create opposition groups, etc.

So I agree, make people aware and get stakeholders into the informal meetings. But I think the public comment and the entire process would be helped if it was less formal. The Planning Board public comment period is supposed to focus on whatever specific legal objections and technical objections can be raised. They tolerate kids getting up to say there will be construction and people speculating about construction workers oggoling children, but that is not really what the Planning Board hearing is about. HOWEVER, a less formal informative session format would give a perfect outlet for those kids to be heard before the Planning Board or the developers are locked into a legal process. There can be a dialogue this way.

Now legally this would have to be voluntary for the developers. BUT we could create a voluntary preliminary planning framework. Publish a description online and in the paper. Have 2 meetings at different times on different days. Allow cross talk so questions can be addressed and answered. You could even publish a summary of the meetings but agree they will not be recorded or be considered binding. Let the developer have the right to sign off on the summary before it is published to correct their own statements as needed. This will free everyone up to talk more freely.

Following this process a plan would be submitted for the formal planning board. The carrot to get developers to take the deal would be that the Planning Board would have the option to allow comment and vote on the same night ONLY IF the developers went through the preliminary voluntary process. Otherwise the Planning Board would typically allow 1-2 sessions of public comment BEFORE voting.

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Reader says The recent election has shown that two thirds of the electorate favor more moderate development projects

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

Ridgewood is where it is because our Council has been governing for the benefit of the few and not for the benefit of the many. The tax payers have been fed a steady diet of “take it or leave it”, oversized initiatives with no option to compromise. Why? Because the Council majority has been answering to Valley and the developer special interest groups. If Valley Hospital could have moved off of its completely unreasonable expansion plan 10 years ago, they’d be finished with their construction by now and we’d have a more modern hospital. Whose fault is that? Same goes for the CBD – not a single person who thinks 35 units per acre is too dense has ever advocated for vacant car dealerships. That is the rhetoric of the now-vanquished Ron Simoncini and his “Truth About Ridgewood.” The recent election has shown that two thirds of the electorate favor more moderate development projects. It’s time to undo what the last Council has put in place and start over. Smaller hospital, smaller garage, smaller apartments.

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Reader say Ridgewood is in Desperate Need of A Master Plan

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Well our town desperately needs a Master Plan of what it wants to be in the next 10, 20 years and how we will get there. Where will the open space be? how does multi-family housing intersect with garage parking and maintaining a safe “walking village”? What streets could have more parking quickly and cheaply (tree streets) and why don’t we try it first? More parking at a garage is one solution but until you lay out where everything will be it is foolish to throw in one monster garage and think problem solved.

The stores in Ridgewood that have a compelling business proposition do great and even expand: Rita’s, Hot Jewelry Box, Fox’s, Alex and Ani, Learning Express are a few examples. If you are a me too store, a la the GAP or Gymboree I can find you in the mall. There are a few business I will go to if I can find a spot out front (Dunkin, nail salons etc) but if there is not a close spot, I will visit Midland Park as it is just as close to my house. I will not park in the garage for those businesses. On a special Saturday night out in town, I can park by NY sports on the street for free or drive farther from the restaurants and always parking. I am of the opinion that the garage will not be that impactful for businesses, more so for commuters. If the businesses really had a push NOW for their employees to park elsewhere (graydon in winter, school in summer) and did some sort of COC busing for them that might help the store front parking.

Now a business such as Roots failing because of parking is NOT OUR PROBLEM. While it is a beautiful space, it is way too large and the owners were mistaken to think the client base in Ridgewood is the same as Summit. And I really hope the new council gets rid of that gift of a zillion spots to valet outside…Why doesn’t every business – regardless of what type of business – get the same valet treatment? Would be much more fair to have the small commuter lot set up as a valet depot for all businesses…could even add a second level on Hudson or Cottage for that purpose and be done with it. Again, if we had proper planning not patchwork planning.

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Reader says Bigger is not always better for Ridgewood

Valleywood_theridgewoodblog

why are you so interested in Valley increasing it’s business? To bring more traffic, more people smoking on our sidewalks, more employees parking on our streets, more of our police and fire department time spent filing reports of theft and unruly behavior? Maybe you are looking forward to talking to the residents of Steilen Ave who have been dealing with noise and light violations from Valley for years or maybe you are just looking forward to driving into Ridgewood and seeing a 1700 car garage at the intersection of Linwood and Van Dien. Won’t that look beautiful! Maybe they can make the lights that will shine from it 24 hrs a day in a residential neighborhood color coordinated for the holidays. Maybe we should turn the houses on either side of you into high density housing in order to fulfill our fair housing. It will only take 8 months of construction for that, not 6 years. What’s the matter? Just because you bought a house in a residential zone that doesn’t allow hdh doesn’t mean things can’t change, right? In just the same way that Valley’s lot cannot be turned into apartments, Schedler cannot be a 7-11, so just stop with that stupid argument. And yes, the car dealerships should be developed, but changing the density in our cbd from 12 units per acre to 36 was unnecessarily excessive. 24 units per acre would have brought the same benefit without as much downside. Unless of course all you’re concerned about is maximizing the profits of developers. Here’s a word for you to ponder…moderation. Is that so hard to achieve? Bigger is not always better.

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What can Valley Hospital do to improve its “bad neighbor” image with Ridgewood residents?

valley construction

 

photo by Dana Glazer

April 8,2016

Council Candidate Jeff Voigt

Ridgewood Nj, Based on the 2016 H zone Master Plan amendment being passed by the planning board – where does this leave Valley in the view of the Village residents? Many view Valley as a very bad neighbor – it pays no property taxes, doesn’t tell us its long term intentions, and filed a lawsuit against the planning boardand town council in order to achieve its expansion aims. Valley certainly has a public relations problem which it needs to address. So what can Valley do to improve its image and commitment to the Village of Ridgewood?

Here are some suggestions:

 In a recent conversation I had with Jim Griffith, Village resident, Jim suggested that Valley should start investing more $$$ in the Village. This could be done potentially with the new NJ requirement for Valley to pay property taxes (even though they are a non-profit). However,rather than just giving the Village the tax dollars, Valley should make known to all residents its financial commitment to issues important to the Village such as Parks and Recreation. While Ipartially agree with Jim, I would also content that Valley is a very profitable non-profit hospital (see their December 31, 2014 financials on line; Baker Tilly, auditor’s report). Therefore as a“good neighbor” Valley should pay their fair share of property taxes. This would have amounted to $4.5 million based on their 15.5 acre campus (based on the Village tax assessor estimates). Recent suits in NJ have opened the door for non-profits to pay their fair share of taxes; as perabove. It would also be nice however, if Valley would become more involved in the Village’s interests, above and beyond paying its fair share of taxes.

 Valley might consider having a Village resident on its board of Trustees (ideally a voting member), who in turn could report back to the Village on Valley. There are several committed Village residents who would do a really good job at this. This person(s) would serve the interests of the Village and help in building a partnership with Valley.

 Valley should have a Village resident intimately involved in the planning and implementation of the hospital expansion/construction. Again there are several people in our Village, living near Valley, who would be great candidates for this.

 Valley could develop a series of educational programs such as “good health programs” for the schools and teach them. These might include nutrition, healthy living/lifestyles, exercise programs, etc.

The key for Valley in all of this is to become a better neighbor and; to demonstrate its commitment to the Village by working with its residents.

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RIDGEWOOD PLANNING BOARD SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETINGS – VALLEY HOSPITAL TONIGHT !

Valleywood_theridgewoodblog

livestream planning board meeting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jp0OPnUFv4

Planning Board Amendent to Meeting Schedule – Special Public Meetings – March 30, 31, and April 4, 5, 7

Please Note – The Board may take formal action when the matter is concluded on any of these dates
For complete details for the meeting schedule – Click Here

Valley Exhibits
1.  A-1 2013-2014 Bird’s Eye View Exhibit
2.  A-2 2016 Bird’s Eye View Exhibit
3.  A-3  2013-2014 Site Section D (2013 Exhibit A-12 Slide 18)
4.  A-4  2016 Site Section D
5.  A-5  2016-Ex-A-5-2013-Ex-A-12-Evers-slide-19-section-E
6.  A-6  2016 Site Section E
7.  A-7  2013-2014 Setback Exhibit (2013 Exhibit A-29 Slide 21)
8.  A-8  2016 Setback Exhibit
9.  A-9  Photo Simulation Long View from Meadowbrook Ave
10. A-10  Photo Simulation Closer View from Meadowbrook Ave
11. A-11  Photo Simulation View from North Van Dien Avenue
12. A-12  Photo Simulation View from 318 Steilen Ave
13. A-13  Photo Simulation View from 258 Steilen Ave
14. A-14  Photo Simulation View from BFMS Ballfield
15. A-15  2016 Reduction in Floor Area Calculations
16. A-16  2016 Building Floor Area by Phase
17. A-17  List of Conditions Generated during the 2013-2014 Master Plan Hearing
18. A-18  2016-Ex-A-18-2016-Building Floor Area by Phase
19. A-19  Survey-property line at N Van Dien
20. A-20  Survey-property line rearyards of Steilen
21. A-21  Photo-from-BFMS-ballfield-looking-south-to-TVH

Village of Ridgewod Planning Board Exhibits
1. B-1 – Planning Board Public Notice
2. B-2 – Court Remand Order
3. B-3 – H-Hospital Zone District – Proposed 2014 Land Use Plan Amendment (defeated by Planning Board)
4. B-4 – H-Hospital Zone District – Proposed March 15, 2016 Land Use Plan Amendment (red-lined version shpwing changes from 2014 plan amendment)
5. B-5 – H-Hospital Zone District – Proposed March 15, 2016 Land Use Plan Amendment (unlined version without showing changes from 2014 plan amendment) 
Transcripts
1.  March 30, 2016 – H-Zone Master Plan Hearing
2.  March 31, 2016 – H-Zone Master Plan Hearing
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The Valley mediation proceedings resulted in a win for Valley and nothing for Ridgewood

stopvalley
April 5,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The meeting got off to a poor start as the PB chairman announced to the crowd they would be going into closed session before public comment! Thankfully the people waited to be heard and they were back out in about 50 minutes.The speakers were great. Their statements were diverse, intelligent and heartfelt.  It is hard to imagine what the counter argument could be though we know there is one.

There were about 30 speakers at the PB meeting.  It was good to see that we are not just a small vocal group. They are allowing more public comments tomorrow. Please come to the next PB meeting and let them know what you think. It’s at 7:30 in the Town Hall

The Valley mediation proceedings resulted in a win for Valley and nothing for Ridgewood except how they will mitigate the damages.

The Valley expansion is too big for the 15 acres it sits on and too big for the neighborhood even if there wasn’t a school adjacent to it.

Ridgewood needs our planning board and council to look out for the village and it’s residents.

Valley will continue to thrive and grow. They have purchased numerous properties for off site facilities and can certainly modernize the Ridgewood location and not destroy the Master Plan in doing so.